December 22, 2011
The LA Times blog Hero Complex has a four-page preview of The Flash #4, arriving in stores next week. The preview sheds more light on Manuel Lago, and begins the origin of Mob Rule.
Tip: I found that the slideshow viewer makes the pages too small to read. Fortunately, they provided direct links to the images at the end of the article.
Written by FRANCIS MANAPUL and BRIAN BUCCELLATO; Art and cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL; Variant cover by ERIC BASALDUA; 1:200 B&W Variant cover by FRANCIS MANAPUL
As Central City remains dark from the recent EMP blast, The Fastest Man Alive remains in hot pursuit of the one who set it off: Mob Rule! What does Mob Rule really want? Learn the rest of his origin right here!
Johnny Wellens sent in these screen captures of the Rogues and other Flash Villains in the DCUO: Lightning Strikes game expansion.
Here are The Rogues as they appear in DC Universe Online. I have only two issues. Why is Piper a villain again and why does Professor Zoom have Zoom’s costume? No answers from the developers on these decisions at this time. But I can tell you that it is so much fun to run around Central City, Metropolis, and Gotham looking for The Rogues.
I haven’t played the game myself, but it looks great — and like great fun!
December 21, 2011
With the New 52, DC Comics is making a point to get all their comics released on time. In recent years, scheduling delays had become a joke, with even high-profile series like Final Crisis shipping weeks or even months late. And let’s not even get started on the Flash schedule from Rebirth through “The Road to Flashpoint,” which changed on an almost-weekly basis.*
A few years back, I wrote about different ways to keep comics on schedule. The solutions I came up with at the time were:
- Alternating artists with each new storyline. (Batwoman is taking this approach, alternating between J.H. Williams III and Amy Reeder.)
- Series-of-miniseries with enough lead time that each mini stays on time. (Hellboy and BPRD.)
- Fill-in artists within a story. (DC’s preferred method on event books.)
- Fill-in issues. (Back in the Silver Age, this was the standard approach. These days, readers tend to see them as an interruption.)
I go into these in a lot more detail in the original post.
These days, DC seems to be changing creative teams left and right, some for editorial reasons, others now doubt because they’d already fallen behind. That seems a little drastic to me, but I’m sure there are those who would disagree.
My personal preference is still alternating artists per story. With proper planning, it keeps any ongoing arcs moving smoothly, while still preserving a consistent artistic statement within each story. Though I also think planning one-shots ahead of time that can be written or drawn by a guest but still fit into the overall arc has its advantages as well.
How about you? What’s your preferred method of keeping comics on schedule?
*I actually wrote a program to retrieve DC’s listing for upcoming issues of Flash: Rebirth once a day and notify me if the date had changed.
Steven Ogden asks:
I’m a huge Flash fan. He’s without a doubt my favorite superhero. Unfortunately, there’s only one thing I don’t understand: the Speed Force. I don’t understand how Barry Allen created the Speed Force. Is it some kind of magical force? Hope not, not a big magic fan. If anyone can take the time to help a Flash fan out I’d appreciate it.
Well, Steve, there are a couple of ways to look at the speed force, from simple to complicated. Let’s start with simple.
The name is a little misleading. The speed force is basically a field of energy which exists just outside reality. Speedsters like the Flash can tap into this energy, which makes it possible for them to perform feats of amazing speed. With practice, they can learn to manipulate this energy as well, stealing and lending speed from other objects (or people). It also produces an aura that protects them from friction, so they don’t burn up running through the air at a zillion miles an hour.
If the Flash draws too much energy (basically, by running past the speed of light, the cosmic speed limit), he risks losing himself in the field. In the pre-Flashpoint universe, this has happened to Max Mercury, Johnny Quick, Barry Allen, Wally West and Savitar, among others. Wally was the first to return from this fate, but not the last.
Then things get complicated. Read the rest of this entry »
December 18, 2011
December 16, 2011
After fans learned that the DC Universe would be massively revised after Flashpoint, DC insisted that it was a relaunch, not a reboot. But with a complete line-wide new start, with many characters being reimagined and given new backstories, it certainly falls under the conventional meaning of “reboot” as applied to a fictional universe. It’s at least as much of a reboot as the DC Universe that emerged out of Crisis on Infinite Earths in the 1980s.
But I’m not sure the metaphor’s correct. It comes from the idea that when you reboot a computer, you start fresh…except usually when you reboot, you have exactly the same “universe” (the operating system, the apps, the files, etc.) as you had before. That’s not the case with a fictional reboot, which tends to alter the settings, characters, histories, and more.
A better comparison might be an operating system upgrade. Going from Windows XP to Windows Vista, or from Vista to Windows 7. Lots of things change about the way the system works. Some apps are altered. Some stay the same. Some might not be compatible and need to be removed until new versions are available. You might even lose some of your data (or access to it). Some changes are improvements, but there’s always something you wish they’d left alone.
The New 52 fits this metaphor. So does the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths relaunch, which took characters from DC’s Earth-1 and Earth-2 settings, plus the characters they had bought from Charlton, Quality and Fawcett, and merged them all into a single timeline. Some characters were erased (Supergirl), others were changed significantly (Superman, Wonder Woman), some stayed more or less the same (the Flashes’ history was mostly unchanged). Most of Superman’s villains were reimagined and introduced as if they were new.
Smaller retcons, those that affect a single character or team, can be looked at as patches. The John Byrne Doom Patrol, which quietly relaunched the Doom Patrol as if they were new characters, but left the rest of the DCU unchanged. The Time Trapper/Glorith mini-reboot in the “Five Years Later” Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Threeboot Legion.
Really, anything that could be explained by a “Superboy punch” can be treated as a patch.
In between are the events that retcon a bunch of characters across the line, but only change the distant past and behind-the-scenes events. The DC Universe after Zero Hour was very much like the DC Universe after Crisis on Infinite Earths. The DC Universe after Infinite Crisis were very much like the DC Universe after Zero Hour. Zero Hour…aside from the reboot Legion, most of the retroactive changes were details. Infinite Crisis may have set up the return of the multiverse, but it happened in a way that no one in the main universe noticed for over a year. I’d compare these to service packs.
So in a way, DC’s right: it’s not a “reboot.” It’s a reinstall.
December 15, 2011
The Collected Editions blog is focusing on Flashpoint this week with reviews of two Flashpoint collections from the perspective of a trade-waiter. For those of us who read new comics on a month-to-month basis, it’s worth stepping back and considering how differently these read when you read a series in the form of one or two collections a year.
Considering all of the changes seen in DC’s New 52 Flash title, the reemergence of the character’s roots in cutting-edge science has received nearly as much, if not more, attention than the tweaks to beloved characters and the series’ long-set standards.
The prime example of this has been the introduction of a very real concept know as Augmented Cognition, or AugCog. In Flash, Barry Allen is advised by new character Dr. Darwin Elias to apply his use of the Speed Force to his brain, allowing him to use his powers to affect perception and the processing of information. This new power was on display in full force in issue #2, and lead to the chilling cliffhanger ending of issue #3.
We reached out to Dr. Peter A. Hancock, Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor at The University of Central Florida and member of the Augmented Cognition International Society, to get his take on the AugCog concepts as presented in Flash. His responses provided a detailed look into an exciting area of neuroscience. Read on, after the jump…
Read the rest of this entry »
December 14, 2011
In an interview published today, Flash writer and artist Francis Manapul spoke with Comic Vine about Captain Cold and his fellow Rogues. DC revealed Captain Cold’s redesigned duds last week, and announced that he and the Rogues would be making their return to the magazine with issue #7.
On the redesign, which generated a lot of discussion on this site, Manapul had this to say:
FM: Well I ran all my designs by the higher ups, and they all chimed in with their two cents. I didn’t get too many notes. We were split on keeping the parka as some felt it was a very iconic part of who he was, and the other half felt that it made him look dated. In the end I came up with what I felt was a good compromise to keep those that didn’t want the hoodie happy, but at the same time make him look more modern yet still staying true to his iconic look. Some of the other Rogues the changes were a bit more extreme, I allowed the story to dictate how they would look, I strongly feel that design follows function.
Check out the complete post at Comic Vine, right now!! More after the jump:
Read the rest of this entry »
The Flash Archives vol.6, announced last month, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. $45 is still a bit steep compared to a trade paperback (funny thing, hardcovers and high-quality paper cost extra), but it’s a hefty discount off the list price.
Written by GARDNER FOX and JOHN BROOME • Art by CARMINE INFANTINO, JOE GIELLA and FRANK GIACOIA Cover by CARMINE INFANTINO and MURPHY ANDERSON Advance solicited • On sale JULY 25 • 240 pg, FC, $59.99 US
It’s a Rogues Gallery parade in these tales from THE FLASH #142-150, as the Scarlet Speedster battles The Trickster, Weather Wizard, Mirror Master, Mr. Element, The Reverse Flash, Captain Boomerang and Captain Cold! Plus, a tale guest-starring Green Lantern!
» Pre-order at Amazon